Sly and Single Again Kdrama Review

Huzzah!  OnigiriLove is totally enjoying Sly and Single Again, the new kdrama series this season.

sly and single again poster

After the uber excellent You Who Came From the Stars ended, we had to continue to get our kdrama fix.  Happily, there are a couple of dramas that capture our interest.  Nowhere near as perfect as YWCFS but heck, it’s a lot of fun!

There are several sites you can watch it from, but HERE’S where I watch it.

So even if I had an unusually intense day, I have to make time to tell you why I love the Sly and Single Again, which we will henceforth call SSA.

Here are some things worthy of discussion.

THE WAR OF THE COMMENTS

Unlike a lot of dramas where the drama is either unanimously loved or hated, there is a great divide when it comes to SSA.  Some fans love it, and some bashers hate it.  This is amusingly reflected in the comments section of the sites that host it and the sites that do the recaps.  The first thing I blame is the drama description.

From Asianwiki:

Ae-Ra (Lee Min_Jung) is focused on her appearance as she believes it will lead her to a better life. She then meets Jung-Woo (Joo Sang-Wook) who studied engineering. They eventually get married, but they also get divorced. After their divorce, Ae-Ra goes through difficult times. Unlike Ae-Ra though, Jung-Woo becomes a successful IT developer and very wealthy. Now, Ae-Ra tries to seduce Jung-Woo to marry her again.

This description totally turned me off when I was shopping for new dramas.  I mean, who wants to watch a show about a gold digger?  Fortunately enough, as I am wont to do, I tried the first episode…. and loved it.

I’m scratching my head about the description.  It doesn’t reflect the premise of the show 100% accurately.  Is it a marketing ploy?  Was there something lost in translation?  Whatever the case, Ae-Ra is definitely not the gold-digger we are led to believe.

So what’s the real deal?  This is my take.

I think it’s about two people who both made mistakes in their marriage.

Ae-Ra married her husband because she wanted stability. This is probably an effect of years of watching her good-for-nothing father and brother mooch off their poor, hard working mother.  The good thing was she was up front about it.  Like she told her besties, she didn’t need huge wealth.  Just a stable income would do.

sly and single again old times

Happier times… Jung Woo passing his professional engineering exams.
Photo credits: koreanfashiondrama.com

Unfortunately, Jung Woo resigned right after without consulting her.  They didn’t even have a piggy bank for rainy days.  Thus follow 4 years of poverty and suffering.

To her credit, Ae Ra tried to shoulder their finances by working jobs with her limited skills.  She also took on heavy debts.  Unfortunately, she reached the end of her tether on the 4th year and went for a divorce.

I’ll have to add that she was also very cruel to Jung Woo during this time when he couldn’t get investors – like taking away his food or locking him out of the house.

And then Jung Woo got his big break and proceeded to become a chaebol.  Ae-Ra finds out, and they meet.  She consistently refuses the alimony money though.  It appears that what she wants from her ex is an apology and an acknowledgment of all the things she did for him.

Still watching the story unfold so let’s see where this ride takes us. :)

PAY ATTENTION OR YOU’LL MISS THE CLUES

Watching a drama or any show for that matter makes you exercise your detective skills.  You will notice that seemingly random scenes or dialogue actually count for something.

This is how I ended up speculating that Ae-Ra suffered a miscarriage which ultimately became the straw that broke the camel’s back.  I also deduce that she had some concrete reason for her hurtful words during their divorce.  Looking forward to discovering more in the succeeding episodes.

So when does a drama get fun for me?  It’s when a drama keeps me guessing.

THE LOSS AND THE HURT

The main reason why I enjoy this drama so much is because I identify a lot with it.  Have you ever been hurt by somebody you loved?  Were you ever let down?  Worse, did you have to watch your ex get so successful and popular?

I’d rather not go into it but imagine breaking up with your first boyfriend only to have him later on every radio station and every billboard.  Really awesome way to try to forget somebody.

Oftentimes, even when people appear to part amicably, there is still hurt and resentment that is buried deep deep down in the recesses of our psyche.

sly and single again ae ra in jail

Ae-Ra has to face the humiliation of being bailed out of jail by the sleek Jung Woo.
Photo Credits: sifuhallyu.com

LOVE IS THE DRIVING FORCE

So Ae-Ra and Jung Woo are both going for revenge.  Ae-Ra goes as far as to work for her ex’s company.  (Admittedly though, it was the only one that didn’t judge her for being divorced.) Jung Woo takes pains to show off to Ae-Ra.  And while other viewers take their actions negatively, I actually delight in their petty and childish behavior.

sly and single again show off

Jung Woo showing off his chaebol status to Ae-Ra – secretaries and staff in needless attendance.

Why?  It only shows that these two still have feelings for each other.  When a person doesn’t care, that person will not care.  You become nothing in their eyes.

cunning single lady jung woo

Lowest of the low…
Jung Woo’s dialogue after he shows their finished dream house to Ae-Ra.
Photo credits: kdramamadness

LOVABLE SECOND LEADS

Another great thing about show is that the second leads are not scheming evil bitches or bastards.  They’re chaebol siblings actually.  So if our leads don’t click, I’m happy to ship the second leads.  Harharhar!

TBH, I ship Ae-Ra and Seung-Hyun.  I love noona romances!

sly and single again seung-hyun giving roses

Ae-Ra gets a tissue bouquet from surprisingly sweet younger colleague Seung-Hyun.
Photo credits: dramabeans.com

So if you’re up for some love, revenge, romance, and comedy, pick up this show.  I can’t guarantee it won’t turn bad in the middle (Writers! Please don’t spoil it!) like what happens other dramas, but so far, it’s all good.

Keep it up show!  Or else, I’ll have to post a retraction of everything I’ve written here so far.  ;)

sly and single again ae ra and seung hyun

Totally shipping the noona romance! Aja Ae-Ra and Seung-Hyun!
Photo credits: dramabeans.com

UPDATES 

And since I mostly write her in my blog for my own pleasure, I thought it would be fun to post my thoughts for each week.  Might be fun to look back on it someday? :)

If you’re not up for spoilers, please don’t read below!!  If you want full recaps, click HERE.  It’s an awesome site I follow.

Episodes 5 and 6:

Omo omo… see Seunghyun looking at Ae Ra.  We get these moments when she’s smiling or laughing, and he enjoys gazing at her so much.  Girls, don’t you want somebody to look at you like this?  I’d melt like ice cream on a hot day!

sly and single again seung-hyun ae ra gaze

So sweet!
Photocredits: Dramabeans.com

And that heart to heart talk of Ae Ra and Jung  at the building rooftop.  So much honesty!  Can’t count how many times I replayed that sad but somewhat cathartic scene.

I also enjoyed watching Ae Ra’s family for these episodes.  They were annoying before, but they were heartwarming this time around.

Episodes 7 and 8:

I’m such a fan of this series that it’s hard to pick out my favorite scenes. I’ll have to pick that conversation between the “brothers” though.

Seung-Hyun admits to his hyung that he has fallen for a woman. He describes her as fantastic and proceeds to list glowing qualities on the basis of their amusingly commonplace everyday interactions. All the while, Jung-Woo keeps griping about his ex-wife whom he keeps calling pretty but petty.

And this is why I’ve fallen for Seung-Hyun I guess. When asked if his own lady is pretty, Seung Hyun hesitates. Guess he doesn’t find Ae Ra THAT pretty, but cares for her other qualities more.

Won’t it be exciting when they realize they’re talking of the same person?!

Seung-Hyun considering Jung-Woo's question if his love interest is petty. Photo credits: dramabeans.com

Seung-Hyun considering Jung-Woo’s question if his love interest is petty.
Photo credits: dramabeans.com

Episodes 9 and 10:

These episodes are my favorites so far. There’s a lot of hijinks and “com” in the romcom.

Seung-Hyun serenades Ae Ra with Yiruma (my fave!) and the best revenge of all, Jung-Woo finally cottons on to the fact that Seung-Hyun’s lady love is his ex-wife. JW turns on the stalker mode. Gotta love Secretary Gil in this episode!

Ah… but Seung-Hyun’s confession was totally swoonworthy. Perhaps it’s because he is so direct and straightforward. He doesn’t waste time too!

Girls, what would you do if you got a confession like that???

“I’m going to tell you honestly how I feel about a certain someone. I thought about it a lot and worked up the courage, so listen carefully. There’s someone I find my gaze drawn to — I keep noticing whatever she does. I’m curious about where she goes, and I analyze her every expression. When she smiles, I feel happy. When she’s sad, I worry. I want to make her laugh — and when she laughs at something I say, I feel happy. I fall asleep thinking about her, and when I open my eyes in the morning, she’s the first person I think of.  Aren’t you going to ask who that person is? It’s you, Ae-ra. That person is you.”

Ending was such a cliffhanger.  They both know now!  But what are they about to say to each other??!  JW says "don't".   Don't what?! Photo credits: dramabeans.com

Ending was such a cliffhanger. They both know now! But what are they about to say to each other??! JW says “don’t”. Don’t what?!
Photo credits: dramabeans.com

Episodes 11 and 12:

Again with the heavily polarized viewer comments. For myself, if I step back, I see that Seung-Hyun continues to be his sweet, optimistic self. Ae Ra continues to grow in her job at the company, and also continues to show remarkable maturity with regards to the romance tempest around her. And finally, Jung-Woo is slowly getting to that place he should be.

Can’t say I approve of the childish antics, but some viewers seem to enjoy them.

Just a few more episodes left. While Seung-Hyun fans squeed at the end of Episode 11, Jung-Woo fans surely cheered at the episode of Chapter 12. Augh, I hate you 2nd lead syndrome!!

sly and single kiss

Finally a kiss! Complete with swirling sakura blossoms. This Seung-Hyun-AeRa shipper ain’t happy. :D
Photo Credits: Hancinema.net

P.S. Also loved that confession by the mother. (Normal) moms will always want the best for their children.

Episodes 13 and 14:

Did I really say “lovable chaebol twins” before?  SNS writer is really toeing the line with the Kook family.  Oh wait, I see what you did there writer… haha!  Kooky!

Anyway, so while I never cared for Yeo Jin before and especially thought her foolish the way she had the accident (don’t kiss and drive!), I have to say I felt empathy for her for the first time.

It was that moment when her face lit up when JW visited her at the hospital.  That was quite good acting.  It was very sad to see her face light up that much when she saw her visitor.  Also, the hospital scenes cemented the fact that YJ is really quite a bit unhinged. Sadly.

sly and single yeo jin in hospital

Yeo Jin in the hospital. Never thought I’d ever feel sorry for her much less empathize with her. But now I do.

I also realized that when you put yourself in her shoes, you can actually understand her antagonism towards Ae Ra.  Her family practically saved YJ that fateful night, and she’s been helping and supporting him all the while.  Then suddenly, this ex-wife suddenly comes out of nowhere!!

Unfortunately, show did not give airtime to these days in the past with YJ and JW.  Show spent a lot of time reminiscing our OTP’s married life, hence the tide of viewer reactions.

Wow!  I never thought I’d ever write so much about Yeo Jin!  LOL

And about my second lead syndrome… sigh.  It’s really not meant to be.  Still, it’s interesting to see where SY’s journey takes him.

Oh my goodness I almost forgot!  For SJ and Ae Ra shippers out there, wasn’t it SO totally cool when SJ walked into the boardroom meeting LIKE THAT and announced that he would be taking over as Company Director in lieu of his sick sister?  I replayed that scene several times!  Him walking with his (sister’s) aides was waaaayy cool… for me, that is! :D

BIG revelation for Jung Woo for this episode.  A lot of viewers must be heaving sighs of relief… and sniffling!

Just two more episodes left!  And for the first time in a long time, I can’t guess what’s going to happen next! :)

sly and single again elevator

Funny elevator scene. Guess who’s playing handsies behind the manager’s back? :)
Photo credits: dramabeans.com

Episodes 15 and 16:

And finally, all sweet things must come to an end.  Sly and Single wrapped everything up in a nice big bow and said goodbye to us loyal followers.

When I was finally watching the two final episodes, I felt sadly disconnected to the drama.  I guess this is unsurprising given the two week-hiatus from the show.  (With the Korean ferry accident happening, the delay was totally understandable.)  Still, knowing the reasons for it, I tried to get back in the groove as much as I could.

I also remind myself that without this break, the final episodes might have been messier as live shootings end up to be.  If you look real close, you’ll see eye bags on Lee Min Jung.  Kang Joon’s eyes were also looking tired and red.

Seung-Hyun birthday sly and single

Oppa, are you tired? Come rest by me. :D

So how did the ending fare?  It was by no means perfect, but it ended pretty decently.

Just to get these out of the way, I thought that Ae Ra spilling her feelings and plans to JW while drunk was too convenient for the writer.  The up side was, while AR was being the noble idiot we knew she’d be, JW was happily not deceived.  So at least in that aspect, Show did not follow the usual formula.

Also, I submit a protest to the writer how SH got AR to go out with him by telling him that it’s his (fake) birthday.  SH’s strength in the show is his honesty, so I hate Writer manipulating this scene this way.

sly and single Seo Kang-Joon

So sweet these two! I do not surrender! LOL

And lastly…pardon me loyal followers, but I burst out laughing at the OTP’s kiss at the end.  If I had watched this before the Witch’s Romance, I would have been appropriately appreciative.  Like, wow, open mouth kisses.  But after seeing the hotness of WR, anything else looks childish and amateurish.

Still, it’s unfair to compare so I’m giving myself a little slap on the wrist.

My favorite parts of the ending?  It’s finding out the surprising history of unlikely pairs in Show.

There’s finding out how Secretary Gil and JW met in the past.  Awwww… bromance!!! (Their bromance is more convincing since they dumped the JW and SH bromance.)

We also were witness to how Daddy Kook met with his Secretary ahjussi.  That was sad.  And it was heartwarming to see the usually selfish Daddy Kook give him the best riceball out of their snack plate.  Quite weird how they injected that in and they must have spent money on those flashback scenes, but what the hey!  They struck a chord.

Lastly, just when you think you know everything about our OTP’s past, you get another REALLY important glimpse of the first instance they really met.

I always thought that AR fell for JW because her mother pointed him out as being potentially successful in the future.  But in this last episode, we realize, ahhh… so that’s how…

sly and single meet

Very simple yet sweet first meeting
Photo credits: dr-myri-blog.blogspot.com/

I hope you enjoyed this drama as much as we did, and I hope Dramaland churns out even more fun and squee-worthy shows in the next seasons.

And just so you know, Seo Kang-joon, I’m keeping an eye out for you!  You were so good you made me suffer Second Lead Syndrome really bad.  In fact, you spoiled the OTP for me.

Don’t despair, Seo Kang-joon fans!  We’ll be seeing him again in My Love, My Bride, an upcoming movie.  And I won’t be surprised if he gets another good drama deal soon.

Seo Kang Joon

Preferably another drama where we see his beautiful … uhmmm… eyes. LOL

Till the next Kdrama show!

sly and single again wedding

 

 

 

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